I normally keep things pretty light on here, but yesterday morning I had this thought that I wanted to share, that over the course of the day developed into a whole ‘thing’. I’ll let you know up front this post is about God so if you’re not up for it, bail now. I hope you’ll stick around though.
My relationship with God is something that I’ve wrestled with most of my life. The bible speaks on only needing faith the size of a mustard seed and I’m going to be honest with you…I am sometimes scraping the bottom to get that. And there are some days I don’t succeed. There are other days I don’t even try. I’ve completely given up at times.
I haven’t had the most difficult life. My cross isn’t the largest by far. I’ve had a lot of disappointment in my life. A lot of pain and hurt caused by people who weren’t what they should’ve been. Who couldn’t be what they were supposed to be in my life. A lot of pain probably caused by my own self. I am sensitive when hurt by people and each time takes a little more out of me. But overall, I’ve always had a place to live. Always had good health. I’m not financially secure, but I’ve always been able to pay my bills somehow.
Like I said, the cross I bear is relatively small. I don’t understand why my faith isn’t stronger. Someone has said to me before, each person has their own personalized amount of faith built-in. Apparently my cuppeth did not runneth over in the faith department.
We all have mountains in our lives. The thing I struggle the most with in my life is being single. However small to you, this is my mountain. It’s something I’ve prayed so many prayers about for so many years. Cried so many tears. Gotten my hopes up so many times, and then gotten them crushed. It’s a tough situation for me.
A lot of my lack of faith in God is wrapped up in this section of my life. I have been single most of my adult life, never married. Part of this is because of my own issues, but in recent years it’s less because of me not trying and more because of things not working out with anyone. Because I haven’t had those foundational people in my life who gave me a safe place to feel loved and appreciated unconditionally, I think I always built up my future husband to be my future safe place. But he isn’t here.
At the end of the day, I don’t understand how a God that loves me can watch me hurt the way I do and not help at some point. I get life isn’t a cake walk. I don’t understand this one small prayer not being answered. It’s been a long time. Like…a long time.
I’ll skip forward to this current situation and what prompted this post. I’ve been texting with this guy for two months or so now. He is attractive, seems like a good guy, we talk well together (this is not something that always happens for me). Both of us shy but for the most part we were moving along. I thought. Recently I realized I was starting to really like him. This is scary for me. My prayer life picked up because, really, I just want things to work out and have this whole thing not end in me hurting and feeling like I’m not good enough like every other dating-ish situation I’ve been in. Like I assume most people do, I hate to hurt.
About a week ago this guy starts giving me a cold shoulder. When I care at all about someone, this is an extremely difficult thing for me to deal with. I finally ask him about it and he tells me nothing is different. I’m doormat patient and understanding with guys when I’m even moderately invested so I give him a little bit of space hoping it will get back to normal. In the meantime I spend my time trying to figure out what I did wrong and how I can fix it. Because this is what I do.
On Wednesday things seemed to be in a somewhat better place with this guy so I felt pretty positive. I roll into Thursday upbeat. I pray on the way to work. It’s just one of those days I feel good. Today will be a good day. Good things will happen today.
In the morning I’m reading this devotional email I get weekly. It’s talking about unbelief. As I’m reading, this strong feeling or idea or image or desire comes into my mind of a group of women who get together and have real conversations about God, spiritual struggles and solutions to them, and just regular, everyday thoughts or testimonies. Maybe we follow a bible study occasionally, or maybe we don’t. We’re there to share life with each other. Judgement free.
This entire idea is basically summed up by explaining that I had this overwhelming urge to know God. On a real level. On a faith-filled level. I want to feel Him, and to know He’s there on a cellular level. I just know that most of the time I get the most from hearing other people’s stories or experiences and what they learned or how they got on the other side of it. Life is not a walk through daisy fields with rainbows and puppy dogs, at least for me. There are trials. There are disappointments. There is pain. While I do get things from sermons in church, I usually don’t get as much from a preacher giving an open sermon as I do from someone who has walked it.
It’s the stories from the trenches. From the ugly, broken things that happen in life. From the tears, and the barely controlled urge to pull your hair out at the roots. I want to hear from life’s soldiers. Tell me your story of your soul laying broken on the floor. Tell me how you found God there. Where was He? What did that look like? How did you get to Him? Or tell me how you didn’t find God there, but you managed to keep your faith.
I want the real stuff. Tell me you screamed at God, because I have. Tell me you lacked faith, because I’ve done that too. Tell me about the days you barely made it through, because I’ve had those too. I don’t need someone to stand on the other side of my mountain and quote scripture to me or give me platitudes about God’s timing or dancing in the rain. It doesn’t help me to hear any of that unless you are talking to me bloodied with scars and cuts and bruises about what helped you win your battle.
With this idea I’m picturing people in my head and wondering who I know that would want to be part of such a thing. Wondering who I should tell about this idea. It would possibly be a difficult, emotional kind of thing but hopefully with a positive ending. And I wait to share it with anyone. I’m kind of soaring with excitement inside.
My day goes downhill from there and by the end, this guy I have been talking to has reluctantly told me he’s now dating his ex-girlfriend again. This guy who didn’t really want a relationship. The guy who told me nothing is different. Who was still texting me and more than likely keeping me around as a “just in case”. But he cares about me. And he liked me too. And he’s sorry.
Last night was tough for me. Today isn’t much better so far. I’m not one to drown in alcohol. I’d smoke some Alabama illegals if it weren’t, you know, illegal and grounds for me to lose my job. Since it unfortunately is both of those things, I do not partake. I normally just dive into the pain head first and get it over with, if I don’t have some guy in the vicinity who can apply a temporary band-aid so to speak. Most times I don’t.
Right now there is no temporary band-aid so I didn’t have a choice but to dive into it. My eyes are puffy and clouded. Tears are barely controlled. My hands are a little shaky. I mostly feel numb right now.
I don’t know what role the devil played in this whole thing, but I know he was somewhere. I can feel it. Maybe he brought this guy around in the first place. Maybe he brought this ex back into his life. Or maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about. I just think about how positive I was feeling, I think about that idea I had, and I think about all the times I’ve heard the devil will attack us. I’m feeling pretty attacked right now.
I do have the tiniest victory to claim though. Normally when I’ve been in similar situations I blame God. These are the times when I scream, and argue, and fight with Him. That didn’t happen this time though. For whatever reason this time I kept my hand in God’s. I might not be standing quite as close as I was. I might be somewhat disgruntled. My back is not turned though, and I am still connected however loosely.
On my way to work this morning I put ‘Take Me to the King’ by Tamela Mann on repeat. It wasn’t much, but it was my meek little way of showing God I’m still there. I’m still trying.
Truth is, I’m weak. No strength to fight. No tears to cry.
I don’t have much to give. My heart is torn in pieces. It’s my offering. Lay me at the throne. Leave me there alone, to gaze upon Your glory and sing to You this song. Please take me to the King.
That song is amazing, by the way. If you ever feel like you are at the end of your track, you may want to put it on repeat.